This is Shell’s first acquisition globally for its Nature-Based Solutions business, which invests in forests, grasslands, wetlands and other natural ecosystems around the world to reduce emissions and capture more CO2 while benefiting biodiversity and local communities. It will contribute to Shell’s ambition to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner, in step with society. This ambition also involves working with customers to reduce or offset the emissions generated when they use Shell products, such as through the use of carbon credits. There is no single solution to tackling climate change and Shell supports nature-based carbon credits as one addition to robust decarbonisation throughout the global economy.
Select Carbon has developed and manages a portfolio of over 70 projects covering about 9 million hectares across different ecosystems and agricultural uses, including in Australia’s diverse rangelands. The carbon credits** generated through Select Carbon’s projects are offered for sale through the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund and other markets, creating an additional revenue stream for farmers and landowners.
'Select Carbon has a team of highly skilled professionals with strong technical expertise and an established national landowner network. Together with Shell’s global resources, this combination will accelerate the growth of carbon farming in Australia,' said Shell Australia chairman Tony Nunan. 'The scale of Australia’s rangelands, ecological diversity and integrity of intact primary forests make this market a natural choice for Shell’s first acquisition globally for our Nature-Based Solutions business and to further scale Shell’s investment in this area here in Australia.'
'Select Carbon believes joining Shell will more thoroughly capture new opportunities in land management and carbon sequestration. Combined, we have the experience and resources for large-scale nature-based solutions that bring economic and community benefits to regional Australia. It is a great opportunity to work alongside land managers to achieve multiple outcomes, including resilient regional businesses and landscape health,' said Dean Revell, CEO of Select Carbon. 'Our collective immediate actions, and those over the next few decades, will be critical to ensure liveable, productive and sustainable environments for generations to come.'
Australia continues to be a priority market for Shell’s investment in new energies. The market offers a compelling combination of strong growth in renewables, adjacency of gas as a complementary energy source, and customer demand for low-carbon energy solutions.
This acquisition complements Shell’s existing efforts in reducing the carbon intensity of our natural gas operations and investments in renewable and lower-carbon sources of energy in Australia. These include: the acquisition of Australian commercial and industrial energy retailer, ERM Power; the acquisition of sonnen, a German company with operations in Adelaide that provides battery storage systems and solar panels for homes in Germany, Italy, USA and Australia; investing a 49% stake in Australian solar developer, ESCO Pacific; and building Shell’s first industrial-scale solar power farm in central Queensland.
The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the year and is subject to Australian regulatory approval.
- *Carbon farming, a commonly used term in Australia, uses agricultural and land management practices that capture carbon in vegetation and soils or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By using the correct land management practices, farms can transition from being net carbon emitters to carbon sinks.
- **Each Australian Carbon Credit Unit generated through Select Carbon’s projects represents the avoidance or removal of 1 tonne of carbon dioxide and is eligible to participate in the Australian Federal Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund.
- Natural ecosystems play a critical role in capturing and storing carbon. Efforts to protect or redevelop natural ecosystems will make a vital contribution to limiting global warming. These projects can also lead to the marketing, trading and sale of carbon credits.
- Nature-Based Solutions are projects that protect, transform or restore natural ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands and wetlands.
- Shell has a range of existing projects in Nature-Based Solutions around the world, including offering low-carbon biofuels and carbon neutral driving options in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In Australia, Shell has one existing regeneration project of endangered native forest in the Brigalow ecological community in Queensland.
- Select Carbon was founded in 2010 and employs 24 staff, who will all be retained under the deal. The company has offices in Perth, Albury (NSW) and Brisbane. Select Carbon’s leadership team will report to Flora Ji, Shell’s General Manager, Nature Based Solutions, Asia-Pacific.
- Select Carbon’s portfolio includes 14 Human Induced Regeneration (HIR) and 4 Avoided Deforestation (AD) projects in New South Wales; 4 HIR projects in Queensland; 38 HIR projects in West Australia; and 12 near-term pipeline projects.
- In Australia, Shell employs around 2,000 people directly and indirectly supports thousands of jobs in regional Australia. Shell has been a significant investor in Australia for more than 118 years.
- Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.